Susanna Craib-Cox is a Senior Marketing Specialist at Arup, focusing on the Chicago office and regionally working with the Digital team as the Business Support Lead. She also chairs the Skyline Council’s Engagement Subcommittee. Here, Susanna shares a bit about herself – from how preservation runs in her family, to her love of Chicago and more.
What is the best part of your job?
I work with people creating better environments. Part of that is creating new solutions, and part of that is helping them to communicate those solutions. I am also very lucky in that I can tap into a global network to learn about solutions in other cities and countries and see how they can be applied for our clients.
When and why did you become involved with LI and join the Skyline Council?
My father was actively involved with Landmarks, and encouraged my involvement when he stepped down from the board. Lisa DiCiera encouraged my involvement as well. I have always been impressed by the knowledge and commitment within Landmarks Illinois.
Why is historic preservation important and what about it interests you?
My parents were (and are) passionate about preserving the built environment, and passed that love onto myself and my brother. From an early age, we were brought to historic and significant buildings, and encouraged to find the stories and unique elements of each environment.
What is one thing about historic preservation you would tell another young professional to spark their interest?
Chicago is a unique city because we have a history of preservation and reuse. The ability to continually revitalize our building stock through preservation is a gift, and provides young professionals with the ability to learn from working with existing buildings and systems – and to see how we can apply that to other projects.
What impact do you think young professionals like yourself will have on the future of historic preservation?
I think we have a unique chance to show people the advantages to preservation with good outcomes and data, and also to learn from older buildings – their structure, systems and what they represent to people. Communication is a huge element of that – on social media as well as personal conversations.
What do you do to support and advocate for preservation either in your professional or personal life? (or both!)
I have always been involved with the preservation community, since my father’s early days working at Glessner House. Personally and professionally, I have seen the community evolve – and our ability to impact through social media and personal discussions is evolving as well. I try to advocate for people to really examine their environment, and recognize that each building contributes to our lives.
What do you do in your free time?
I support Chiditarod – an annual urban shopping cart race that combats hunger through a food drive and direct donations. I work with my college’s alumni network – Washington & Lee has a large community here – to develop events and help with alumni interviews. I am also a crafter – I love to knit and sew. My husband, daughter and I love to go to museums and parks around Chicago.
(Photo: Susanna at the 2014 Skyline Social. Photo credit: Bob Elmore)